Day 168 – Maintenance, Naked Llamas and Old Friends
As always, when you’re on the road as much as we are, there is maintenance to be done on the car. I started the morning with a walk in to town to buy some Mineral Turpentine to clean the air filter (which was surprisingly dirty after Tasmania…).
Since I was going to be working on the cooling system again, I took the opportunity to clear the rear heater unit, too. It was also full of muck and I nearly ruined one of my favourite t-shirts in the process (though, it is probably old enough to get married in certain countries). I then went about replacing the temporary Bunnings heater t-piece that I had created with the genuine Mitsubishi one. Piece of cake. There was also a small heater hose that was looking a little fragile, so I swapped that with a fresh piece. I’d love to replace all the heater hosing, but they ‘feel’ OK, and I don’t really want to spend another day and $400 swapping them when we’ve only got two weeks left of our journey… I’m sure those words won’t come back to haunt me…
Filtered the coolant that we drained and put it back in to the car, bled the system ….then broke the plastic bleed screw. And so began the three-hour odyssey to find a M12 bolt with 1.5mm thread pitch. We tried the local mechanic, but he only had M12 bolts with coarser and finer thread. Same with the local hardware shop… We ended up having to drive to a neighbouring town, Cobram, to find a nuts and bolts shop, and then it was a difficult search. For a minute I thought that we were going to be stuck in Tocumwal (not such a bad thing) all because a little plastic bolt snapped… But, at 2PM, after cutting the bolt to the right length, I managed to put it back into the car, and we were ready to get back on the road…
But not before we were fed again! Breakfast was Vita-Brits with banana and Milo, as well as guacamole and cheese on homemade toast (so tasty). Lunch was grilled salmon with mashed potato/carrot/broccoli.
Back over the Murray River into Victoria we passed a llama farm, which isn’t that unusual, except they had just been shorn and they looked hilarious. Seriously, the photos don’t do it justice (I blame Risa, she took the photos). They looked like normal heads on these giant skinny necks. Odd creatures.
We drove to Mansfield, which is at the base of Mount Buller (a popular Victorian ski field) where we caught up with a friend from Japan, Kate. We first met in 2008 when her little son, Kaito, was just a baby. He’s always been a cool little guy, even when we were trying to do a photoshoot with him out on his skis and he just wasn’t in the mood. So funny now that he’s a smart little 5 year old kid, complete with an Aussie accent. He’s also an expert ninja now (though, if I trained a little harder, I could probably beat him at sword play).
Dinner at the local with the intention of having pizza (because that’s their speciality), but couldn’t go past the parma (7/10). In fact, Kaito was the only one to order pizza in the end… Was a good night, playing with coins to see how well we could balance them, because that’s what we do – balance coins.
Kaito went to bed and then we could catch up with Kate properly (with the final of Australian X-Factor in the background). So hard to believe how fast the last five years have gone, and how much has (and hasn’t) changed.
Another great night catching up with friends. Also, another night sleeping inside a house – it’s been a week since we slept in Deli-chan…